Jay-Z, known today as the businessman Shawn Carter, has came out on top on Forbes annual Hip-Hop Cash Kings List. He was able to knock G-Unit General 50 Cent who held the throne last year.
Spanning back to June 2008, Hova reportedly banked $35 million which can be credited to tours as well as his numerous business ventures. The recession, however, is clearly evident and may have taken its toll on someone at such a caliber as Carter as he raked in $85 million prior to this year.
His recent venture with Live Nation, where he had to front $150 million, played a role in the decline from his earnings the previous year.
Taking the slots for second and third place were Sean “Diddy” Combs who took in $30 million and Kanye West who made $25 million. West’s earnings can be credited with the sales of 808’s and Heartbreak and the known success of his “Glow in the Dark” tour. Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, who was number one last year, was clearly knocked from the high-horse as he came in at number four banking $20 million which is a hard plummet from the $150 million that he made previously.
According to Forbes, the steep decline from Jackson stemmed primarily from selling his shares in Vitamin Water parent Glaceau to Coca-Cola. His deal with Vitamin Water was able to account for 20% of the total that was taken in for the top 20 artists last year.
Other mentionable names that appeared on the Hip-Hop Forbes List include Eminem, Dr. Dre, Pharell, Snoop Dogg and Lil Wayne.
Last year, the top 20 Hip-Hop Cash Kings were able to make a reported $500 million, but this year the total amounted to $300 million, which is a significant 40% decline.
Although the decline has proven that artists are not immune to the troubles of everyday America, it also is a reminder of how much more they must hustle in order to stay afloat in this troubling recession.